Carnival Court comes through with win for Voss

Filly fulfills trainer's goal, captures Twixt Stakes

August 16, 1999|By Pete Bielski | Pete Bielski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

By winning yesterday's $100,000 Twixt Stakes at Laurel Park, Carnival Court accomplished a long-range goal for trainer Katy Voss.

For many months, it looked like it wouldn't happen.

Back in January, before Carnival Court had ever won a race, Voss had eyed this August race of 1 1/16th mile for many reasons.

First, it was restricted to Maryland-bred, 3-year-old fillies, which Carnival Court is; second, it offered a generous purse; and third, the race had personal meaning. Voss trained Twixt, a 15-time stakes winner for whom the race was named.

But Carnival Court was having some problems. She couldn't find the winner's circle against maidens, much less stakes runners. She notched four straight seconds against non-winners.

"I was getting worried I'd have to run a maiden in this race," Voss said.

That changed last month when Carnival Court received first-time Lasix treatment and went around two turns instead of sprinting. She coasted to a seven-length victory against maidens, giving Voss more comfort going into the Twixt.

"The key to this filly was sending her a distance of ground," she said. "It's a little extra special to win the race named after the best horse I've ever trained."

Carnival Court, an 11-to-1 long shot, handled her stakes foes in much the same way she bested the maidens: trouncing them with a punishing late run. After early pace-setter Silent Valay surrendered midway on the turn, it appeared Perfect Challenge was home free.

The two-time winner with the $122,000 bankroll from Linda Albert's barn opened up a two-length lead with less than 1/8-mile to go. But she was no match for Mario Pino and Carnival Court, who powered past by a length to pull the upset. She paid $24 and keyed a $109.20 exacta in a six-horse field.

It was three lengths back to the heavily favored entry of LaReinette and Magic Board, who finished a nose apart for third and fourth.

"They've always liked this filly a lot," Pino said. "Some of her seconds were deceiving. A couple of those horses had already won stakes, so her seconds weren't that bad. When we stretched her out, it was her game. The way she warmed up today, I had a lot of confidence we would run big."

Carnival Court is owned by Robert S. Evans of Hartford, Conn., the brother of prominent national owner Edward Evans. As for her future, Voss said she has eyed the Maryland Million race for 3-year-old fillies.

Area schedule

Laurel Park: Summer meet runs until Aug. 27. Live racing Wednesday through Sunday, post time 1: 05 p.m. Simulcasts daily, except Aug. 17 and Aug. 24. 301-725-0400.

Rosecroft Raceway: Live racing Thursday through Saturday, post time 7: 20 p.m. Simulcasts Tuesday through Sunday. 301-567-4000.

Exotic carry-over

Laurel Twin Trifecta: $8,039.00

Pub Date: 8/16/99

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